Most de-icers are very toxic to the environment and can damage pet paws. Read the labels for detailed descriptions and the MSDS (material safety data sheet). Most are made from salt and urea. Some groomers and vets have seen pads almost raw from their walks on these chemicals. When mixed with water they can reach 170 degrees!. Put some in in your palm and moisten it.
Personally, none of my clients have had issues, but most are washing their feet, maybe in Grapefruit Seed Extract or using booties. For outdoor cats, notice if they are wet and taste what they are wet with. Sponge them off if needed.
A group of professionals agreed on several good products. Safe Paw is good and is readily available. It has the PTPA (parent tested, parent approved) green product seal and was n the whole green catalog. Happy Paws Ice Melt and a few others are at Green Ice melt. Pestell Paw Safe which may be less available.
Safe Paw’s product info says it combines amide and glycols. The MSDS seemed excellent to me.
Happy Paws Ice melt did not list the ingredients, just said what was not in its product. I will research more.
Pestel has Paw Thaw – their site says it is less harmful to grass, trees or other vegetation. Water soluble and odourless. It is made with fertilizer, so I am not sure of the environmental sustainablity factor here.
Head to Costco for safe paws (sorry independent retailers but you just cannot get close to their price) for your yard and try to get your neighborhood to do this, too. The others are available on line.